Smriti Mandhana, India’s star opening batter, had a bad start personally to the ICC Women’s World T20 2018, but is hoping to get some runs in the next game.
India beat New Zealand in their opening fixture courtesy a swashbuckling 103 from Harmanpreet Kaur, the captain, and Jemimah Rodrigues’ 59. Though India won by 34 runs against a very strong opposition, Mandhana didn’t quite get going, scoring two runs in seven balls.
“I want to give my 100 per cent in every match, that’s the only aim I have. Because if I think about expectations, I won’t be able to perform, which I didn’t do in the last match. So it’s better for me not to put pressure on myself and just enjoy the game,” she said ahead of the second match, the big one against Pakistan.
Her own performance, and that of the bowlers, were two areas Mandhana pointed to as things to work on before going too deep into the tournament.
“From every win, we have to take our points out. The Powerplay – I don’t think we got the kind of start we expect our batters to give,” she said. “Personally, I didn’t bat the way I do.
“From the bowlers’ point of view, we could have restricted them below 150 [New Zealand scored 160/9 in reply to India’s 194/5] – that would have been great for us. Those are the things we’ll be working on in our next game.”
Pakistan might be at No.7 to India’s No.5 in the MRF Tyres ICC Women’s T20I Team Rankings – not a big gap anyway – but they have beaten India in the 2012 and 2016 ICC Women’s World T20s.
“We have done our research on the Pakistan team, but there’s no single player, we have done research on all 15 players. So the way we played yesterday (against New Zealand), we’d like to put up the same show tomorrow,” said Mandhana, who clarified that Kaur, who was cramping during her innings in the game against New Zealand, was fine and should take the field against Pakistan.
Mandhana also stressed that as far as the India players are concerned, the acclimatisation has gone well, and it’s always a matter of looking ahead and not behind.
“We came quite early to the West Indies, and we played three warm-up matches [one unofficial and two official] before getting into the last game. All the batters and bowlers know the conditions really well, and I think we have acclimatised to the conditions really well,” she said.
“Before coming to the World T20, we discussed that we have to take it one match at a time. Yesterday was a good win for us, but it’s the past now. We cannot really think about it.”
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